Monday, March 3, 2014

Following Up

After two weeks of charting on my own I was eager to see Liz again.  This time I was able to bring my husband and Liz was able to better explain what I had learned at my first information session.  This appointment began like so many that I would have after this.  First, she asked if I had read through the book on CrMS.  I had.  She wanted to know if I had any specific questions.  I did, but there were so many, I figured it was better to ask as we went along.  Then we covered a bit of my medical history. 
                Do you have any known ailments? Endometriosis
                Treatments for endometriosis? Laparoscopic surgery, birth control pills and shots
                Medications and supplements? Lots of ibuprofen and a multivitamin

Then began the barrage of questions.  When checking for your cervical mucus do you use flat toilet paper?  Yes.  Do you wipe front to back before and after you urinate and have a bowel movement?  Yes.  Do you take mental notes of each and every time you go to the bathroom?  Yes.  Do you take one final note at the end of every day, being sure to bear down?  Yes.  Do you chart your findings every night?  Yes.  Do you use the SOFT technique (Sensation, Observation, Finger Test)?  Yes.  You do not do any internal exams?  Correct.

These were the questions I would hear every other week for the next few weeks and then, hear just once a month.  They were the questions that would ensure that I was doing all that I could to chart correctly.  Once I had really gotten the hang of these and had gotten used to checking my cervical mucus before and after each time I went to the bathroom, I would be able to cut down on the number of times I would be visiting with Liz.

But I was nowhere near the stage of not needing Liz to help with my charting.  Since I had gotten my birth control shot less than three months before, Liz said that the hormones were still in my system.  Therefore, she said the results of my charting would still be a bit off.  Although I was devastated that I only had red stickers on my chart (I will explain what the stickers mean and the basics on how to chart your cycles using the Creighton Model during a later post) and I was disgusted to be bleeding for so long, Liz did not seem overly concerned.  Therefore, I tried not to be too concerned either. 

Sample Chart

Miraculously, or at least it had seemed to me at the time, the day after my follow-up I stopped bleeding.  It was like my body knew I had just seen Liz, knew I was learning more about charting, and would soon give me the chance to actually chart using cervical mucus.  Now was the time I really had to pay attention.  I was so vigilant, ready to take not of any sign of anything.  Soon, I began noticing the “shininess” that had been described.  It didn’t mean ovulation, but for me it was a change and I relished that change.  After the shininess I began noticing a very slight dampness.  It certainly wasn’t much, but I began holding out hope that I would see something soon. 

Another appointment with Liz came and went and I wasn’t showing signs of ovulation.  I started feeling nervous.  I was coming up on my third appointment and still had nothing different to report.  Then, twenty-eight days after I stopped bleeding I had my first sign of cervical mucus!!!  I know that is sounds fairly disgusting to learn about someone’s cervical mucus, and definitely strange to know of their excitement over it, but you cannot imagine how thrilled I was.  Jubilant would be a great word to describe my emotions.  I finally felt like the hormones from the birth control shot were leaving my body and I was going to have the opportunity to have a normal cycle.

I had my next appointment with Liz and was giddy to show her my chart.  She was so excited to see a change and was so happy for me, especially since I was now able to put the information I had learned in to practice.  It was great timing as well, as my first appointment with the NaProTechnology doctor was coming up in about a week and a half.  My appointment with the doctor came exactly two months after my first meeting with Liz, the very minimum amount of charting required to see the NaPro doc.  I was feeling awesome!  We reviewed everything I needed to know and look for when charting, since now it seemed there was actually something worth writing down.  And I was looking forward to meeting this doctor, hoping to take that next step in to a life without pain. 

Stay tuned for my first visit with Dr. Jean!

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